Router planes are amazing tools, but they are also largely misunderstood. And that’s a shame, because they are extremely useful in both a hand-tool and a power-tool workshop. Rather than cutting profiles, as a modern router does, a router plane is for cutting to depth with precise accuracy. They can be used to make the bottom of a table saw dado perfectly flat. They can fine tune a rabbet or a tenon. They are the perfect companion to many power tools with nearly unlimited uses.
My version of the router plane is easy to make from a scrap of wood and some easy to find hardware. And unlike other homemade versions, this has a micro-adjuster to set the depth and shaving thickness.
- Deluxe PDF Plans (Dimensions, cut list, drawings, build photos and step by step instructions)
- Dimensions: Inches
- Tools required: Can be made with basic hand tools, but a drill press and a band saw makes the job easier
How to use a router plane:
More about our deluxe plans:
Our deluxe project plans are more than just a set of dimensions. They include a comprehensive set of step-by-step instructions with dozens of photos and illustrations to walk you thorough the build.
You will NOT receive a paper plan. You will be sent a link to download a digital PDF document that is compatible with most computers and digital devices. You may print it yourself or take it to a printing service. We do not provide 3D Sketchup models or CNC G-code.
Below are some examples of what our deluxe project plans look like. This plan will be similar.
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Router Table Multi-Sled
What started out as a way to safely hold small parts while working at the router table, became a multi-functional sled that will accomplish several tasks safely and accurately. It's a small parts holder: it's a coping sled for routing on the ends of narrow work pieces (rail and stile construction, tenons, half laps, etc.); and it's a circle cutting jig capable of diameters up to 10-inches.
This sled is surprisingly easy to build, and the plans give you all the information you need, including step-by-step instructions complete with photos. Enjoy!
Box Joint Machine
Building box/finger joint jigs has become a bit of a hobby among some woodworkers, like marble machines or complex mouse traps. They are admittedly complicated, but fun to build and really useful tools. I've designed several, but this one is my favorite. It will cut any joint configuration you can imagine, without any complicated setup or attachments to swap around. You don't need a dado set to use it, though using one will speed up the process. It will cut a joint up to 18" wide, and is compatible with any 10-inch table saw.
Sliding-Top Router Table
It may look like a regular router table, but it has a feature that very few have! The front of the table surface slides in a precision track, and that makes all the difference. It's like having a built in coping sled for safely and accurately routing small parts or routing the end of narrow stock. You clamp your work piece right down to the table, then slide the carriage past the bit. It adds a level of safety and precision that no standard router table can match, and the uses are endless. Add to that the six drawers for bit and accessory storage and you have a router table that will do more things and last longer than any you've ever owned!
Table Saw Taper Jig
This is my version of an idea first presented in Fine Woodworking Magazine (Issue #178) by Richard Beebe. This taper jig works like a sled, securely holding your workpiece and keeping your hands safe throughout the cut, even for narrow tapers, such as chair legs. My version is a little different that his. It adjusts equally from both ends of the fence, and will cut wide panels as well as narrow stock.
Every workshop should have at least one saw bench. Not only is this an indispensable tool for sawing, it’s also a comfortable and portable workspace for chopping, boring and all sorts of other tasks. This version of the classic saw bench includes some extra features. For one thing, there’s a split that runs down the center to support both sides of the board while you rip down its length. There are holes for holdfasts to secure your work while you drill or chop sitting down. And it’s large enough to use as a step stool or an extra seat while shooting the breeze. But the best part is it can be built with some old construction lumber!
X-Y Sliding Drill Press Table
This is a drill press table unlike anything you have ever seen before. Despite its compact profile, it is PACKED with features, including two drill bit storage drawers, a quick-release T-style fence, built in dust collection, replaceable inserts and a clever mechanism that allows the table surface to slide forward and back, as well as left to right! When combined with the built in stops, or simple layout lines on a piece of tape, this mechanism can make your drill press do a LOT more! Use it to make rows of holes for shelf pins, etc., all with easy repeatability. You can even put a router bit in the drill press and use the table for milling shallow mortises and inlays. You're bound to find even more uses for this unique table!
Drum Sander (2-Stage)
This drum sander design is unlike anything you've ever seen before! It is a "dual stage" machine, meaning both the top and the bottom of the sanding drum may be used. This enables you to sand any flat work piece to thickness by feeding it through the machine via a hand-cranked feed belt, OR you can pass your work pieces over the top of the machine for fast sanding of flat surfaces and even edges! There isn't another drum sander with this capability ANYWHERE! It's also designed to use inexpensive, easy to find 6" sanding belts, and rather than peeling off the paper to change grits, you swap out the whole drum via a quick-release system!
Misc Router Jigs
These two jigs are easy to make, and simple to use. One is for the router table, the other is used with a hand-held router. Both will cut through-dovetail pins (the tails are cut with a band saw, scroll saw or jig saw). The hand-held router jig will also enable you to cut half-blind dovetails as well. Both jigs are demonstrated in the videos below, and there's another video about laying out your joints.
Table Saw Sliding Crosscut Table
The Europeans have had a secret for years- their saws have sliding tops for easy and accurate crosscuts! We can buy attachments for our saws in the US, but they are EXPENSIVE. So why not make your own? This one mounts to the side of your contractor or cabinet saw (for smaller saws, use with the TS Workstation) and includes an adjustable miter fence, even a storage drawer. Great for working with plywood panels!
Plywood-Cutting Storage Cart
If you use a lot of plywood or if you just like to keep a few sheets on hand, this is the project for you! It's a storage cart that organizes both full and partial sheets. But it also includes a clever feature that holds large panels upright so you may break them down easily with a circular saw and an edge guide. No more carrying and flipping big, heavy sheets around the shop. Do it all right on the storage cart! The whole thing is mobile so you can roll it around and tuck it in a corner. And it's built from inexpensive construction lumber.